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Program Update

The Heinz Endowments is entering a new phase in our education and training grantmaking that we believe will build upon and deepen the impact of our work. The Endowments has cared deeply about young people, supporting them from prenatal development and infancy to age 24 along with their families for decades and investing heavily in every life stage. Building on our experience and recognizing this unique time for our city and region, we will be focusing that commitment to take advantage of a significant opportunity to positively influence and help transform the workforce dynamic in the region. This evolution means targeting our attention and resources to create or enhance pathways that can lead to increased social and economic upward mobility for young people in southwestern Pennsylvania.

We believe this moment calls for our response because indicators are sobering: More than 5,000 students in the region leave high school every year having no graduation plan, job or direction for next steps.  

The Endowments is energized about the opportunity to mobilize resources that can expand and accelerate efforts to steer youth and young adults in our region toward living-wage careers, especially those young people experiencing the greatest obstacles. The approach is also intended to address the perception that there is little to no opportunity for our youth and young adults to thrive in this region and that southwestern Pennsylvania lacks vitality and a bright future. We are challenging ourselves to work effectively and in partnership with many others so that the benefits of our investments will be significant.

We will be working to increase the proportion of residents ages 18 to 24 earning a living wage and making a pathway out of poverty. We will be supporting efforts to build a well-coordinated workforce infrastructure that supports career navigation by youth and young adults in southwestern Pennsylvania and contributes to a thriving community and regional economy. We will be striving to ensure that every person growing up in southwestern Pennsylvania sees a place and a future for themselves in the region and has the opportunity to choose a productive path in our economy and to flourish.

Over the past six months, members of our staff have worked with the Bridgespan Group, a consulting firm selected to support the planning process and assist us in developing a comprehensive, focused and measurable agenda. We are committed to transparency, and while the plan has not been finalized, we are far enough along in the process to have core information to share, which can be found in our strategy overview. This includes showing how the new investment approach builds on elements of our existing work and allows us to continue to expand certain critical aspects.  

We recognize that this process of narrowing our investments is complex and will require changes in our grantmaking and a redirection within the portfolio in some areas. We will make every effort to be thoughtful and considerate about the changes.

Program Staff
Carmen Anderson
Carmen Anderson Vice President, Equity & Learning
Vicki Beattie
Vicki Beattie Program Assistant, Learning
Kathleen Keating
Kathleen Keating Program Officer, Learning
Dean Richards
Dean Richards Program Officer, Learning